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Keywords:

  • Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometer;
  • curcumin;
  • turmeric;
  • Curcuma longa

Abstract

Introduction

The new ion source technique, direct analysis in real time (DART) atmospheric pressure ionisation, allows high resolution mass measurements of gas, liquid and solid samples. As DART-MS produces [M + H]+ molecular ions of most compounds, relatively simple and clear mass spectra are obtained even of multi-component samples. In order to take advantage of the capacity of DART-MS for the real time analysis of individual compounds in natural raw materials, a pilot study was performed using the well-known antioxidant botanical drug, turmeric.

Objective

To establish the analysis methods of curcumin and its derivatives from various types of samples with DART-MS and compare the efficiency of the method with traditional HPLC method.

Results

Different curcuminoids were successfully detected directly from the raw particles of Curcuma longa. When a turmeric extract was separated on a TLC plate, each band produced molecular ion peaks corresponding to curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Molecular ions of curcuminoids in turmeric-containing beverages and curry powder were also efficiently detected. In addition to high efficiency of qualitative analysis, the evaluation of its linearity showed that DART-MS can be applied for semi-quantitative determinations of curcumin over a large range (5–100 µg/mL).

Conclusion

A simple chemical profiling and semi-quantitative method for natural products using DART-MS might be applied to diverse field related quality control of medicinal plants or food ingredients. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.